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The downsides of birth control

I hate birth control. I always have.

Don’t get me wrong: I get why women use it. Some want to prevent pregnancy. Others want to regulate their period or have no period at all and others still may have a health condition that birth control can treat. All of these are understandable reasons for taking the pill, and I would never condemn anyone for using it. In many cases it can be a positive thing. It’s just not for me. Here’s why.

What It Means

I don’t remember where it comes from, but there’s this notion that in order for a woman to “keep up” with a man in the working world, she can’t stop to have a family. We have to actively prevent ourselves from having children and keep our “hormones” in check if we’re to remain on top (*cough cough* even though we’ll still make less than men *cough cough*). We aren’t paid for maternity leave, either, so in reality, it’s like we’re being punished for having children and accepting our bodies as they are, and that’s just so wrong to me. 

Not only that, but in creating the first oral contraceptive, instead of researching into women’s health and trying to learn more about how the female body worked, they took the easy way out and threw us some chemicals instead.

They didn’t tell participants in its medical trial what the pill did or that they were part of a medical trial. They ignored the vomiting and blood clots that patients underwent and did not autopsy the three women that died during the trial to see if the pill had any part in their deaths. Things got so bad that eventually, the only trial participants they had were women from asylums that they’d forced to participate.

It’s not as bad as all that now, but the history makes me sick to think about. It’s not something I want any part of.

The Chemicals

Carcinogens and other harmful chemicals are in everything: our food, our makeup, the air, etc. So you might ask, “What’s the big deal with a few more?”

That’s precisely the point. I hate the fact that these toxins are everywhere, and even though I can’t do a whole lot about some of them, I can, to some extent, choose what goes in my body. I’d like to avoid cancer as much as possible, and many studies have shown that birth control (the oral kind, at least) would increase my likelihood of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

No thank you.

The Social Implications

Call me a prude, but I don’t like the thought of being seen as sexually active when I’m not. Nor do I want to be seen as “available” 24/7. Go ahead and squawk about nuances and “not necessarilies;” that’s how it would look either way. Friends that are on the pill have told me that even their doctors assume they’re sexually active, even when they never have been.

Personally, I’m waiting until marriage to have sex; it just seems like the safest option to me. But even if I did take birth control, no matter what the reason I feel like the temptation would be too much for my boyfriend and me, and that’s something neither of us want. 

“But what about after you’re married?” you might ask. “Surely, you can’t want kids right away.” And you’d be right; I don’t. But I mentioned earlier about research into how my body works; let me explain.

Women are fertile at some points in their cycle more than others. If a man and woman have sex during one of her nonfertile phases, the woman is much less likely to get pregnant. It all comes down to charting your cycle.

“But that sounds dangerous,” I hear you say. “Much more ineffective than condoms or the pill.”

There’s more to it than that, but I’ll cover it some other time. For now, I’ll suffice my rebuttal with this:

Birth Control Isn’t Perfect Either

Condoms I don’t need to explain, but most people think the pill is foolproof.

Here’s a hint: It’s not. Two of my best friends in high school were conceived while their mothers were actively on the pill. What more do I have to explain? Birth control isn’t the perfect contraceptive; nothing is save for abstinence.

When the time comes, we’ll be careful in our own way. Until then, I’m gonna keep as far away from the pill as possible. 

It’s Against My Religion

As a Catholic who cares about her faith, I couldn’t use contraception even if I wanted to. Say what you want, but it’s the truth. That said, I can’t make anyone else’s decisions for them, and just because I might disagree with someone’s methods doesn’t mean I hate them for it. My only hope is that someone will see where I’m coming from. 

Molly is a senior at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. When she's not pursuing an English degree she's either writing or thinking about writing. Passionate about the craft since she could hold a pencil, Molly gravitates toward prose and poetry. She's got a lot to say about a lot of things, and her need to create carries over to several other platforms. She's a sucker for books, video games, YouTube and nonprofits, and wants to be able to work in them all. Her dream is use her voice to make a living, though it's unknown what she'll attempt first.
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